Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Mister Pip

Mister Pip - Lloyd Jones

Rating 5/5

This book was mentioned on Books on the Nightstand's podcast, if you haven't listened yet you should. It's really good.

It's set on a tropical Island in the midst of a civil war. Mr Watts the only white person on the island takes over the job of teacher. Great Expectations is the only book he has to share with his class. Through hearing the story the narrator, a young girl named Matilda, finds out about herself and the power of words.

It's a wonderful, clever, thought provoking book. There are horrifying moments but the final message, about the power of words, books and people to transform and save us, is uplifting.

Here are some favourite quotes;

"By the time Mr Watts reached the end of chapter one I felt like I had been spoken to by this boy Pip. This boy who I couldn't see to touch but knew by ear. I had found a new friend.

The surprising thing is where I found him . . . in a book. No one had told us kids to look there for a friend. or that you could slip inside the skin of another. or travel to another place"

Isn't that a great quote? Doesn't it exactly caprture what it feels like to read a book you love?

"As we progressed through the book something happened to me. At some point I felt myself enter the story. I hadn't been assigned a part - nothing like that; I wasn't identifiable on the page, but I was there, I was definitely there. I knew that orphaned white kid and that small, fragile place he squeezed into between his awful sister and lovable Joe Gargary because the same space existed between Mr Watts and my Mum."

It's wonderful when a book speaks to you. When you can see your situation reflected in the pages. Though expressed more clearly and gracefully.

"The sound of my name took me to a place deep inside my head. I already knew that words could take you into a new world, but I didn't know that on the strength of one word spoken for my ears only I would find myself in a room that no one else knew about."

I really loved this book. If you've read it leave a link below I'd love to read your review.


  1. After teaching GE to 9th graders for many years, I just have to read this! Your review hooked me, too -- thanks! :)

  2. Great, let me know what you think. I really hope you like it.

  3. Thanks for this review. Ann, from Books on the Nighstand, recommended this to me as well. I guess I better order it. Again, thanks.

  4. Had to read it for school and I thought it was going to be boring but it was actually really good.

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